How To Grow Marijuana

When you think about it, marijuana plants are really just weeds. We all know weeds can grow just about anywhere. As long as you cater to their simple needs you will be able to follow this how to grow marijuana guide.

how to grow marijuana indoors at home

Your marijuana plant needs these 6 resources:

    • The right lighting (effect on yield size)
    • Fresh Air (Fresh air is a must)
    • The Grow Medium (Few options here)
  • Perfect Temperature (20 degrees – 26 degrees)
  • Plant Nutrients (Less is more in the beginning)
  • Water (soil likes pH 6 – 7 & hydro likes pH 5.5 – 6.5)

Giving your cannabis plants a combination of these six resources will ensure you grow healthy marijuana plants. Regardless of whether you are growing indoors or outdoors. Growing your plants with these six resources is necessary if you want to grow huge colas.

Read more on cannabis strains for beginners

Research is king when growing marijuana

Back in the day there was no “Google” to use when you wanted to find out how to grow marijuana. All of the cannabis growers ran on a trial and error basis. But it had to be done that way.

Nowadays, we can just do a quick Google search instead of testing a wild theory out on our plants we are growing. Guaranteed that someone else has already experienced the problem you have and have already found the answer.

Trust me, you don’t want to jeopardise your entire crop over a theory you think might work. Do your research and you can’t go wrong.

Read more on the benefits of medical marijuana

Follow all the steps in the how to grow marijuana guides

You might get lucky once or twice not following all the steps involved with growing marijuana. It not recommended though. Make sure to follow all the steps involved with growing for best results.

Things like:

  • Getting the pH of your water right
  • The amount of nutrients to give you weed plants
  • The perfect temperature and humidity levels

Growing marijuana doesn’t have to be hard. There is a wealth of information online including forums that you can join and participate in. Follow the how to grow marijuana guides to the tee and I guarantee you will end up with decent bud.

how to grow marijuana


How much light do marijuana plants need outdoors?

If you are an outdoor marijuana grower you need to make sure you have allocated a space in which you can grow your plants outdoors. Somewhere private and hidden would be best. Once the grow area has been sorted out you need to make sure it receives enough light during the day to cater to the weed plant’s needs.

  • Make sure the area gets a solid 8+ hours per day direct sunlight.
  • Anything less than that is not sufficient for the plant to grow healthy!

Make sure you plant your seeds during the right season as well. Spring time is best to plant. This way you harvest your plants during autumn/fall and they would have had the full season to grow.

Read more on reasons to consider your own grow

Outdoor cannabis plants grow fast

If you are growing your cannabis outdoors, you will notice how fast they grow. When given the right amount of light they can produce enough energy to grow really tall very fast. Outdoor plants, when left to grow, can grow to the size of a tree in about 1 year from planting.

Often, new marijuana growers think they can grow their plant in a sunny window. It may sound like a plan but the cannabis plant will not get enough light through 1 window. They need a solid 8+ hours of direct sun in the outdoors. It might work for the first few weeds while germinating but they won’t flower well or even produce any bud at all.

How much light do marijuana plants need indoors?

When growing marijuana indoors you will need a decent grow light to cater for the plants light needs. People who grow indoors always use a timer that they connect their grow light too. This ensures your plants are on a strict light cycle that simulates the sun outdoors. Using a timer automates the process for you.

When looking for indoor grow lights there are many options to choose from. You could use ordinary CFL lights found in your home. The more serious home grower will invest a bit more in specialised grow light for maximum yields. Generally speaking, the more light, the more bud you will produce.

There is a grow light option that can fit nearly any budget. You can always expand your grow area over time. If you are on a small budget, then start small and buy more equipment as time goes on.

Read more on the mental health benefits of marijuana

Vegetative & Flowering

When growing cannabis your plant will go through two main phases. The vegetative stage and the flowing stage. You can keep your weed plants in the vegetative stage for as long as you like. They will continue to grow bigger until you switch the light cycle to longer nights. This is the 12/12 cycle.

Below is the life cycle of a marijuana plant:

  • Seeds planted sprout in spring time
  • Marijuana grows right through the summer
  • When days get shorter it produces flowers or pollen
  • Pollination occurs
  • Females produce seeds
  • The marijuana plant dies off in winter
  • The cycle repeats

In as little as one year the plants reach their full cycle and die. Their life cycle is very specific and is something every grower should understand very well. When you understand the basics of growing marijuana at home, it get a lot easier.

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Growing weed in a nutshell:

Seed => Seedling => Vegetative => Flowering => Harvest

how to grow marijuana in cape town

As mentioned above:

as long as the marijuana plant keeps receiving the same amount of light, it will continue to grow and stay in the vegetative cycle. When growing outdoors the seasons change naturally and you don’t have as much control over the weed plants lifecycle as you do with indoor cannabis grow setups.

Read more on how to germinate cannabis seeds

Stages of the marijuana life cycle:

  1. Vegetative stage – Plant focuses on growth
  2. Flowering stage – Plant pushes out flowers

If you can get your cannabis plants through these two main stages of life, then you are on your way to the weed harvest. The next section will focus on male vs female marijuana plants.

Male vs Female – Telling the difference between the two

It’s important to know the difference between male and female marijuana plants. If you are using regular bag seed when growing cannabis then it’s a 50/50 chance to get males and females.

how to grow marijuana in south africa
Example of white pistils on a female plant

Unless you are breeding cannabis strains, you don’t want male cannabis plants. They don’t produce flowers like the females do. Flowers mean buds. So if you not producing flowers then you are wasting your time growing marijuana. You need to make sure all the male plants are separated from you female plants otherwise they will pollinate them, creating seeds.

How long before you can tell if it’s male or female?

As mentioned above, unless you are breeding marijuana plants, you need to make sure you separate them as early as possible. Only the females produce buds! They only show if they are male or female towards then end of the vegetative stage. Sometimes as late as the beginning of the flowing stage.

Male Cannabis Plants Do Not Produce Bud

When you first start you grow, it isn’t possible to tell if your plants are male or female. You will find that both male and female cannabis plants look exactly the same until you switch over to the flowing stage. No one can tell exactly what is growing until flowing.

Choosing the right cannabis strains

The best way to make sure you are growing quality genetics is to buy your seeds from the reputable online seed banks. This takes away all the guess work when growing and you will be sure to grow some decent weed.

how to grow marijuanaMake sure the cannabis genes you use are quality. This is a good start. The way the marijuana turns out at harvest has a lot to do with the genetics you started with.

All marijuana plants are a combination of two plants. They get their genes from their parents. Growing good cannabis genetics will put you on the right path to begin with. Do some research on the marijuana strain you have decided to grow.

Different strains might require more attention than others while growing. Some will definitely be harder to grow than others.

3 main types of strains available:

  • Sativa
  • Indica
  • hybrids

Most of the cannabis strains that you will run into today are a hybrid. Depending on the way the plats are bred, they could be indica-dominant or sativa-dominant. Meaning it contains more of the indica or sativa genes. Often you can see these genes by the way the cannabis plant looks. Short and stocky plants are more indica and taller and thinner plants are more likely sativa.

Indica, Sativa & Hybrids (plus Auto-flowering) Strains

how to grow marijuana
Example of Sativa vs Indica Cannabis Leaves

Indica cannabis strains

how to grow cannabis in south africaIndica cannabis strains are the short and bushy looking plants. They are perfect plants for indoor grows where space is limited. They are more controlled in a cannabis growing environment. Many growers actually prefer growing indica indoors than sativa because of this.

Indica strains give you heavy body highs and often a couch lock stone.

They are also a prefect marijuana strain for people who suffer from sleep disorders. If you are smoking indica you might want to consider a relaxing night on the couch. Perfect strain for chilling.

Sativa cannabis strains

how to grow marijuanaThe effects of the sativa marijuana strain give you more of a cerebral high. You could also call it a mental high. You feel more mentally stimulated or creative. Sativa plants grow much taller that indica’s. They tend to take in more light and grow quite a size.

They also take a bit longer to grow than indica’s. If you are growing a sativa cannabis strain in an indoor area, you will need to make sure you plant training skills are up to scratch. You will need to keep the sativa plant from growing into your lights.

When comparing the cannabis leaf. Sativas have much longer and thinner leaves than the indica. Indica plants are known for their short, fat and round leaves. Its their trademark.

Read more on Indica vs Sativa

Hybrid cannabis strains

Hybrids are the third strain. Obviously, as the name suggests, they are a mix between two different cannabis strains. In many cases they are actually easier to grow than the other two strains. This is because they have been bred with the best genes from sativa and indica.

Ruderalis – Auto-flowering cannabis strains

Ruderalis is a marijuana strain that will auto-flower. It doesn’t matter about the light schedule. You can find these strains in most of the cannabis seed banks. Just look for auto-flowering strains.

When growing an auto-flowering strain you can set your grow light timers to 18/6 lighting schedule and you cannabis plants will be ready to harvest in 3 month straight. You just leave the 18/6 schedule on for the entire grow.

The auto-flowering strains are usually very small plants. They have a very short life cycle compared to the other strains which have time to grow big and healthy. In fact, you can leave the other strains in vegetative mode for as long as you like before flowing. Ruderalis generally don’t grow taller the 1 – 2 feet tall.

Auto-flowering vs marijuana strains

When planning your marijuana grow, make sure to do sufficient research into the different cannabis strains. You need a strain that matches the size of your grow area. You need to know things like how tall they grow and how much light they require. If you don’t plan ahead you will run into problems down the road in the middle of growing.

Cannabis Seeds – It all starts with good genetics

Once you have done sufficient research on the different weed strains it’s time to by seeds. They can be bought off one of the seed banks website and delivered to you in a discrete package. Nowadays they can also be delivered to just about every country around the world.

Below are a few places to buy seeds:

  1. The Green Smoke Room (South Africa)
  2. Cannabis Seeds (South Africa)
  3. Sensi Seeds
  4. Nirvana Seed Shop
  5. SeedsMan
  6. MSNL Seeds


how to grow marijuana
Example of what cannabis seeds should look like.

Cannabis seeds are usually dark coloured and very hard. Don’t waste your time trying to germinate seeds that are smaller and white. These types of seeds are usually too immature to germinate.

If you have bought seeds and want to store some of them, you can place them in the fridge until you are ready to use the rest of them. Do not freeze the cannabis seeds. They need to be stored in a cool dry place so make sure they are not in moisture. If you hide them in a dark place that’s cool and dry they could last as long as 5 years. Sometimes even longer.

Read more on cannabinoids

What is bag seed?

Bag seed is much cheaper to buy than feminised cannabis seeds. It’s basically a 50/50 chance you get some female weed plants out of some bag seed. This is why it’s not a great idea to use the seeds you found in your local weed dealers bud. Most of them would probably be males and you have wasted time growing them.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good way to start growing cannabis. You can learn from the bag seed you have collected. When you are ready to step it up a notch then spend more money on the cannabis seeds and buy the feminised ones. You will know how many females to expect.

Always try and get good marijuana genetics to grow

Buying cannabis seeds online is very easy. It’s also a reliable way to get the best genetics to begin your grow with. The only problem with ordering your marijuana seeds online is the waiting period before your seeds arrive. Im sure it’s the same with most countries that are not close to the seed banks. Sometimes it could take up to a month to get through customs and arrive at your door.

Even if it takes a little longer than expected for your seeds to come, it’s worth the wait. Knowing you are growing quality cannabis genetics. In fact it actually saves time because you can buy feminised seeds so you don’t wait time growing males with your bag seed. You can also pick the exact strain you need to match the grow area you have.

Read more CBD or Cannabidiol

What are cannabis clones?

Using clones is a great way to begin your grow. You can forget about waiting for the seeds to germinate and grow. Clones give you a head start. You also know the exact marijuana genetics your clone has because it has been cut off a specific strain.

When growing from clones you can expect the clones to be very similar to the mother plant. It will actually produce very similar yields as the mother as well. This assists growers in knowing exactly what to expect when growing the clones.

how to grow cannabis
Example of cannabis clones growing in a humidity dome.

Where can you get clones?

Cannabis clones are harder to get hold of than marijuana seeds. If you know someone that grows cannabis indoors you could ask for a clone or two to begin your grow. Currently there is no way of ordering clones online like you can seeds.

Depending in which country you stay and the status of weed legalisation in your country, the medical dispensaries might be able to sell you clones. It’s unfortunate, but this option is not available to most growers around the world.

How long does cannabis take to grow from clones?

Many growers prefer to start from clones the second round growing. It just saves a lot of time using clones. Possibly, could shave a couple of weeks off you grow time when you grow from clones. It also guarantees you are growing a female. If the mother plant is female then the clones will be female as well.

This is one of the benefits of growing marijuana from clones. If you have a mother plant that is female, you can keep her in the vegetative stage and clone as many copies of her as you like. Doing it this way with ensure you never have to worry about male plants or seeds again.

Starting out with a clone

You need to be careful of a few things when starting out from clones. You need to be very gently with clones in their first few weeks of their lives. They are delicate and can die off quickly.

If you have just started the clones and they don’t have any roots yet, then you need to keep it moist. Don’t give the clone light that is too strong. Rather opt for something softer like fluorescent tube grow lights.

Comfortable conditions for clones

You need to make sure the conditions for the clone are just right. Before the cannabis clones have roots they make use of their leaves to get all the water they need to survive. Most cannabis growers will use a humidity dome here. You can mist you marijuana clones inside the humidity dome a few time a day if you need too.

Another thing that clones love is warmth. Using a heating pad under you clones will ensure they are in a warm and moist environment. Just the way they like it and perfect for growing new roots.

Do you best to keep the temperature between 21 – 26°C (72-77 °F). This is perfect for the new clones. Some of the newer cloners come with a setting to add the heat source.

Caring for marijuana clones

Once all your clones have been under the humidity dome for a while and have begun to grow its first roots, you can move them into you grow tent under the grow lights. Just make sure you have your grow lights set further away than usual. The clones are still delicate.

When watering your clones after they are in your grow area. Use plain ph’ed water. If you decide to give nutrients make sure it’s a watered down version and not so strong. The new roots your clones have grown are sensitive and will burn if you give it too much nutrient.

In the beginning of the clone’s life, less is more. Rather give less than too much and kill the clone. Just remember that clones are a lot more sensitive to grow lights and heat than established plants. Make sure you check your clones often over the first 24 hours. Make sure they haven’t fallen over or anything.

After a couple of days your clone should start growing their own roots. Once you reach this point you can start giving the clone’s stronger nutrients and more light. It’s basically ready for the vegetative stage.

How much electricity does an indoor grow require?

For growers that work in a small grow room, you might not notice a difference in your electricity usage at the end of the month. This is great news for small scale or stealth grows at home.

A grow room starts to use a lot of power when you bring in the bigger light systems. Another thing to consider is keeping the temperature in the right range. You might need to run and aircon or heater to keep the temperature right. This is a massive drain on your electricity bill.

how to grow marijuana

Even with all these costs, growing your own marijuana at home can be cheaper than buying it. If you are only wanting to grow a small amount of marijuana then your setup costs and grow costs won’t be that high. You can setup a grow area within your budget.

What are the setup costs of an outdoor grow area?

When growing cannabis outdoors, you virtually have no start-up cost compared to growing indoors. You don’t need to buy grow lights and deal with the running costs of those lights. All you need is good soil and the right amount of sunlight. You need at least 8+ hours of sunlight a day so choose your outdoor grow spot carefully.

Make sure your grow area is secure and private as well. You don’t want it in public view where your plants could get damaged. Check and make sure you have an adequate water source. You will need a lot of water during your grow so make sure it’s plentiful.

What are the setup costs of an indoor grow room?

The costs of an indoor grow area can vary quite a bit. You need to think about what you are trying to achieve before you buy your lights and accessories. If you only want to work in small amounts then the setup and running costs of the marijuana grow area will be small.

If you are serious about your indoor grow then there are many things to consider. The initial setup cost will be much higher. You have to find the right grow lights which is a big expense on a large grow area. You will need a new grow tent, a couple of oscillating fans and grow supplies like nutrients etc.

A full setup like that will cost a bit of money on the first run. When you start your second grow you already have all of the things you need to grow with from your last grow.

Growing marijuana – Should you grow indoors or outdoors?

There are a couple of things you need to consider when planning your grow. If you don’t have a big area outdoors then you will have to consider an indoor grow.

Growing Indoors

The nice thing about an indoor grow is that the environment is fully controlled by the grower. This means you can get high-quality buds on a regular basis. Running an indoor grow is a lot more time consuming than an outdoor grow.

You have to make sure your plants are getting the right amount of light, water, humidity, nutrients and fresh air otherwise your cannabis plants will die.

Source: Nebula & Sirius Grow Weed Easy

6 places you can grow marijuana in:

Cannabis grows pretty much anywhere so long as you provide the essentials it needs to thrive. Let’s take a look at some of the spaces you can grow marijuana in:

  • You could use a bedroom
  • You can grow in a cupboard
  • You can use your garage to build a grow room
  • Make yourself a grow box
  • Buying a grow tent is a popular option
  • Spare bathroom is also a nice sized space for a grow room

Growing marijuana in a grow tent

If you are a new grower, then maybe you should check out a small grow tent to start with. Work out how much space you have to work with and find a small tent that fits your space requirements. Grow tents are a perfect choice. They are very affordable when you consider they will save you all the trouble of building your own grow area.

Nowadays the grow tents are made very well. They come with reflective walls and are completely light proof. Cannabis grow tents come with sufficient spaces to vent out hot air and pull in fresh air. You can hang your cannabis grow lights from the stable bars at the top of the tent. Another nice feature are the floors in grow tents. They are waterproofed.

How to grow cannabis indoors

If you have decided to do an indoor cannabis grow, one of the first things you should consider is the heat inside your grow area. Remember that when you add your grow room lighting to the area the temperature inside will increase. You will need to find a way to cool it down inside.

Marijuana plants in the early stages, tend to grow faster when the temperature is slightly warmer. You should always try and keep your plants in a comfortable temperature range. This temp range is usually between 20°C – 30°C (70-85°F).

Controlling the temperature in your indoor grow area

This is a very important part of growing marijuana. Young plants prefer slightly warmer and humid conditions whereas older cannabis plants that are in the flowering or budding phase prefer cooler and less humid conditions.

For the weed flowering stage its best to keep the plants at 18°C -26°C (around 65-80°F). Keeping your cannabis plants in the flowering stage at these temperatures will ensure that your buds are the right colour and taste good too.

It also helps the production of trichomes and gives it a more potent smell. If you are only growing a few cannabis plants them you might be able to get away with air intake and extraction for cooling down your grow tent. It also depends on your climate and which season you are in.

How to grow cannabis outdoors

Its much easier to grow marijuana outdoors. You don’t need to worry too much about the temperature and humidity. Its also a lot cheaper, because you don’t need to invest in grow lights and fans and all the other marijuana growing accessories.

Things to worry about in an outdoor grow:

  • Privacy
  • Stealth
  • Pollination
  • People stealing your plants
  • Different kinds of bugs

Growing outdoors really depends on where you live. If you live in a warm climate and you have adequate space outdoors to grow, then growing cannabis outdoors will be a hell of a lot cheaper. You won’t have to worry about you marijuana planted roots so much as the sun and the climate will grow your plants for you.

You just need to use common sense when growing outdoors. If it’s dry and hasn’t rained for a while then water your plants. Don’t completely rely on the weather to grow you cannabis plants. Obviously it’s the reverse for when it rains. If your plants are getting too much water then you need to consider covering them or trying to prevent them from being overwatered.

Outdoor temperatures

Cannabis plants don’t do well in cold weather, so if you living in an area with cold weather you should rather consider an indoor grow. The plants can die or produce no bud at the end if the temperatures where too cold during your grow. The same for extremely warm temperatures. They struggle when it’s too hot and humid.